Officials at Hy-Vee are reporting so-called skimmers had been discovered attached to ATMs in three Des Moines-area stores. These devices are used to steal debit and credit card information.
A spokesman for the Iowa Attorney General’s office says incidents involving skimmers in Iowa are rare, and happen mostly at gas stations, not at ATMs. Communications director Geoff Greenwood points to some things that might indicate a machine has been messed with.
“An obvious sign is, if you’re trying to put your card in and that slot is loose, or doesn’t look tight, or it’s overlapping some graphics, something just doesn’t look right, that may be a sign that someone has tampered with it,” he says.
Greenwood says it’s difficult for consumers to know if they are the victims of skimmers. He says there are things they can do after the fact.
“The best way to protect yourself is to monitor your statements," he says. "You’ll be able to see someone is doing something with your account, and you can report that, and you need to report is as soon as you notice something wrong on your invoice.”
Greenwood anticipates the number of skimming cases will drop as technology moves from magnetic strips to debit card chips, which he says are secure.